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Fallout 4 Tips & Tricks: Basic Guide for SPECIAL/Perks/Crafting

This guide is going to give a general fill in on information you wish you knew going in to the game on changing mechanics and what to expect from the new gameplay. it will cover Preferred perks for several builds based on weapon damage types, settlement creation, and combat. as well as a streamlines guide to SPECIAL starting stats and the first hour or so in game.


Before you leave the vault, read this

Things to keep in mind when making your character.

Before we make a character read the list below to help plan.
  • All SPECIAL bobbleheads except Perception are very difficult to get to or obtain if you're not level 15+ Do not count on getting them to acheive perk requirements when creating your character
  • Settlement development is a HUGE part of this game and can be taken very very deep beyond just plopping down water pumps and turrets. Learn how to utilize this ASAP, especially with high charisma characters.
  • You can get an additional +1 to any stat from the SPECIAL book on the floor in the nursery in your old house.
  • You can get the Perception bobble head SUPER EARLY by going to Concord in the start
  • You get your first set of power armor at the same time you get the Perception Bobblehead
  • The only way to increase your accuracy in vats via STATS is in perception. There are no gained perks that increase vat accuracy
  • Critical Hits are tied DEEPLY into vats now
  • Radiation is super deadly now, rad poisoning takes away from your max health until healed, and radiation comes from many sources now. Running through a stream can add 40 points of rad in a few seconds, that's 4%HP! 1000 rad kills you dead, it's based on percentages now. 10 rads to 1 percent HP. so if you had 900 rads, you're down 90% of you max capable HP.
  • Speech checks are made from a flat out Charisma Score+ minor perk modifiers if taken
  • Maintaining Power Amor Requires Amor Crafting and Science perks
  • Power Amor Frames can not be left in your bags as in previous games, they are left in the real world where you left them as is Lore Friendly, they are tough as hell but parts can break and be swapped out as is also lore friendly. Most importantly, if you leave power armor free standing in a non defended area it can be stolen by enemies, making looting the frame back impossible, assuming you can kill the a$$hole taking your power armor for a joy ride.
  • There are multiple power armor frames in game, in case yours get stolen or you want to keep several around at key settlements to save FUEL consumption...oh yeah power armor use fuel called Fusion Cores, no more god mode power armor use.
  • NEW The perk Lone Wanderer functions with Dogmeat as an active companion!
Perks - the run down

Keeping mind there are certain perks I say you MUST get, choosing not to get them will hinder you or straight up ruin your game.

Scrounger - Luck 2
Get one rank right off the bat, it doesn't just increase the ammo you loot, you find ammo for any type of gun all over, containers that were empty have a MUCH higher chance of holding ammo in general. Ammo can run out easily for your guns in this fallout

Lockpick - Perception 4
I'd get a rank in lock pick as my 2nd choice, there are 4 safes in Sanctuary 2 need rank 1 , and 1 needs rank 2. There's also 3 rank 2 safes in Concord. Level this up at every available level

Scrapper - Intelligence 5
Suggest this as your level 4 perk, breaking down guns and items will now give gears,s crews etc.. instead of the very plentiful steel

Hacking - Intelligence 4 
Take it at level 5 and then every level it becomes available

Armor Modification - Strength 3
It's neccessary, keep this leveld up when possible

Aquaboy - Endurance 5
1 rank is really all you need, it seems useless but there is A LOT of water in this game and it can kill you via radiation very very very fast, or just drain your rad away supplies like crazy. Get this before weapon skills. It's a quality of life perk and can be skipped if you want to avoid water. But there's a lot of fun water missions, hidden loot, unique gear and stuff you find under water.

Town leader - Charisma 6
Rank 1 lets you set up supply chains, letting your settlements pool their supplies together. I won't go in to detail how to do it, look it up on youtube. But this is crazy helpful, get rank 1 even if you don't plan to go deep into towns (which i suggest you do eventualy)

When it comes to crafting perks, some are more important then others, in order of importance
  1. Armor Modding is first and foremost, always level this up, ALWAYS!
  2. Science rank 2- it's needed for amor, guns, and settlement building, get this to rank 2 when possible. Only above 2 if you use Energy Weapons and/or Power Armor
  3. Gun Nut rank 2- Needed for all ranged weapons to some degree and in settlement defense. Only boost higher then 2 if you specialize in NON-Energy Weapons
  4. Blacksmith I'd only take this skill if you are unarmed or melee weapon specialize. it can be use to modify the Arm Pieces of Power Armor for unarmed boosts.
What makes you SPECIAL?

So going from the NEEDED perks we can see you'll need a MINIMUM
  • Strength 3
  • Endurance 5
  • Perception 4
  • Charisma 6
  • Intelligence 5
Keeping in mind how you're going to play and that you get +1 Perception and +1 ANY STAT very early on. Create your build accordingly

I prefer for my Ranged Combat heroes starting stats
  • S 3
  • P 4 (I don't use the bobblehead to hit 4, because higher perception is better overall)
  • E 4 (use the SPECIAL BOOK for +1 to make it 5)
  • C 6
  • I 5
  • A 4
  • L 2
You can of course adjust for your weapon preference or playstyle and adjust as needed. It's important to play your own way, these are just suggestions to not cut your self off from exploration or certain quests and loot

TIPS to get easy XP [NOT EXPLOITS]

OK so lots of things give xp, especialy crafting. I'm not talking about expensive crafting I mean easy stuff you don't think about.
  • Cooking, it's easy. Cook your rad roach meat, stag meat, mole meat, w/e every one gives exp. Grilled Rad Stag takes 1 meat gives 120HP heal and+25lb carry weight limit for a few minutes.
  • I then set those meats to hot button 0, eat those instead of wasting stimpacks. Cooked meat also sells for 20-200 caps each, good money there.
  • Make chems, Psycho Jet and Bufftats are easy as hell to make and useful. Pop those for tough fights, the base components drop so often you'll probably never run out. I've leveled twice on cooking and twice on chems each, before level 15,
  • Running powerlines between poles and items, also nets you some cheap easy exp. Stringing power up to sancutary houses, 2 levels on that alone.
*What I do once i leave the vault to get an extra level -MINOR SPOILER*

So when I leave the vault and get to town, i do the Codsworth miniquest and he tells me to go to Concord. Before I do, i grab the SPECIAL book under in my childs room and add that to a stat I want. Then I go to the WORKSHOP bench and activate it to unlock settlement workshop building. I go through the town cleaning up all RUINED items. Do not delete the couched tables/chairs etc... 
These add to town happiness level, while useless clutter detracts from happiness. leaving the couches and stuff there saves TONS of time and resources. I set up fallen tables and couches, clean out unusable debree from the entire town.

I also Move all the crafting stations (there's a cooking and a chemistry station around the other parts) to the main crafting area.

This gives you basic crafting materials. I then place 2 water pumps in town, 12+ beds (1 per bedroom of the non ruined houses) I loot and then plant 2 melons and a gourd to get a headstart on food production. Keep an eye out for floor SAFES under some beds and cribs, and the rear cellar enterance behind a house to a rank 1 safe and rare crafting gold crafting material.

Drop 1-2 turrets if you can near the bridge for security ratings.

Also upgrade one of the guns you're going to be using, there's a .38 Caliber Pipe Pistol in the last house codsworth takes you near a corpse in the kitchen that can be made into a rifle.

All this is done in preparation for a quest you get after you escort the Concord group to Sanctuary. Also CRAFTING items gives EXP and this can get me 1 sometimes 2 levels before i even get to Dogmeat. I then do similar at the Rocket Gas Station. Clean up the junk, collect all the crafting stations in to one area. Place at least 1 bed for my self.

This gives some good early exp and loot. Look under the gas station in some hidden caves for a FULL Fusion Core and another rank 1 safe.

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Credits: Special thanks to Derisat Hartfelt for this guide.